Schools and colleges in Chennai and adjoining districts that were functioning normally since October have now commenced switching over to online classes again after the state government declared holidays following heavy rain.
The government has declared holidays in Chennai and adjoining districts and the principals and teachers do not want the children to face a gap in their studies again due to the festival holidays and now due to rains.
Sudhakumari, Principal of a private school at Anna Nagar (West) in Chennai, told IANS, "The government has declared holidays for schools due to rains and we don't want the students to lose classes continuously. Classes were not held during the Diwali festival and now the government has declared holidays due to rains and this would lead to students losing the continuity in studies. So, we have opted for online classes again."
However not all teachers are enthused by the online mode of teaching as many parts of Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur have power failures.
Elizabeth Neena, principal of a private school at OMR in Chennai, told IANS, "We wanted to conduct online classes for students but several students are in places where there has been no power for the past two days and in some low lying areas water has entered the homes. So I prefer to give them leave and to take extra classes once the situation becomes normal."
The MCC Higher Secondary School in Chetpet, Chennai has commenced online classes but they have not made the classes mandatory for students taking into consideration the heavy rain, power-failure and water-logging in many parts of the city and adjoining areas.
GJ Manohar, principal of the school, while speaking to IANS said, "Children and teachers who are facing water-logging and power failure need not attend classes as it is not mandatory."
Most of the schools have started online classes for students of Class VI to XII. The school managements and teachers said that shifting to an online platform was not difficult as they had experience in taking classes online during the pandemic.
Colleges are also allowed to take classes and students can opt whether they are joining classes or not due to power failures and rain-related issues. Most of the colleges have directed the teachers to conduct classes if the online attendance is 80% and more. If there is less participation, the teacher is free to cancel the class.
Teachers are expecting to cover more theory portions in online classes and focus on practical classes once the physical classes resume.
Most of the city areas were inundated even on Wednesday including Kolathur, the constituency of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
Meanwhile, a red alert for Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kallakurichi, Salem, Vellore, Tirupattur, Ranipet, Thiruvannamalai districts of Tamil Nadu & Puducherry for November 11. Thunderstorm with heavy to very heavy rainfall at few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over these places, IMD said.
"We're expecting more than 250 mm of rain in and around the Chennai areas in the next 2 days. We've taken a lot of steps, mobilised additional pumps on hiring & have around 492 pumps in major pump category apart from other pumps," Chennai Corporation Commissioner, Gagandeep S Bedi said.
"We've already stationed them in low-lying areas. We've put 46 boats across various parts of the city in case of a flood situation. Food is given to 2.5 lakh people. We've set up 200 medical camps," he added.